The summer the tide went out on global warming

This week’s Dispatch from St Johnnysburg, at NBR, is titled “The summer the tide went out on global warming”.

It is one of my longer columns – 1,300 words, and I think a good summary of the political climate around this issue, such as China and India now refusing to even sign the non binding Copenhagen Accord. A couple of extracts:

I believe the chance of there being a post-Kyoto agreement in the next five years or so to now be minimal. In reaching this conclusion, I look at recent reports of opinion within Governments, then the public and finally what it may mean for the NZ Government. …

The loss of the Massachusetts Senate seat has been a clear message to the Government to focus on the economy and jobs. This is reflected in a Pew Research poll on priorities for 2010. Citizens were polled on 21 potential priorities, and asked for each issue whether it should be a top priority. The three top issues were the economy, jobs and terrorism – all at over 80%. The very bottom issue, of all 21 issues, was climate change at 28%. Three years ago it was at 38%, so has been declining every year. Amongst the all important “Independent” voters, it is bottom ranked at 25%,

My conclusion, focused on what it means for New Zealand, is somewhat provocative.

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